Top Ten Movie Friendships

This is a list I was just recently inspired to make. Once I got started, there were many options, but it wasn’t actually too difficult of a list to make. I realized very early on that this wasn’t just a list of the closest friends in film, it was a list of my favorite friendships in film and what they meant to their stories as a whole. It was interesting to also look at each individual character and the part they played in the friendship. It was fun list and I hope you enjoy.

10. The Dude and Walter Sobchak (The Big Lebowski)

Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski and Walter Sobchak are two loyal buddies who enjoy conversation, each other’s company and bowling. The Big Lebowski is my favorite comedy and the two main characters are great friends, but part of the hilarity comes from the fact that The Dude and Walter contradict each other so much. The Dude is the chillest of chill, he let’s things slide and lazes around without a care in the world, while Walter is a Vietnam veteran prone to screaming and pulling out his “piece”.

9. Billy Bickle and Hans Kieslowski (Seven Psychopaths)

If you didn’t get the chance to catch Martin McDonagh’s masterpiece, Seven Psychopaths, I’d get on that. Yes, Marty and Billy Bickle are best friends and to watch Billy violently attempt to inspire Martin to finish his most recent screenplay is thrilling. However, in this story about stories, the friendship that offers the juiciest inspiration to Martin’s story is one between Billy and the wise and mysterious, Hans. Hans takes life as it comes whereas Billy has plans to tell his story how he sees fit.

8. R. P. McMurphy and Chief Bromden (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

One Flew OVer the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the greatest movies ever made and the more interesting relationship involved is one between a hero and a villain. However, there are some great friendships formed in the film and the most beautiful of all is the friendship between the free-spirited Randle Patrick McMurphy and quiet Chief Bromden. Chief Bromden is the patient affected most by McMurphy’s will to stand up against the oppressive Nurse Ratched. The friendships leads to one of the greatest endings in film.

7. Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin (The Social Network)

The Social Network is a generation-defining masterpiece and it’s not about Facebook. It uses Facebook and this internet age we live in to tell a timeless tale of people and their nature. At the heart of this extraordinary film is a friendship that exemplifies betrayal. “I was your only friend. You had one friend.” Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were best friends at Harvard University before the multi-billion dollar company, Facebook, got involved. Eduardo is merely “left behind” in the wake of Mark’s rise.

6. Aidan and Woodrow (Bellflower)

Insipered by Mad Max, Aidan and Woodrow are two best friends who aimlessly spend their days making flamethrowers and bad ass cars for their post-apocalyptic gang, Mother Medusa. The only problem is that the apocalypse hasn’t happened yet so until then they’ll seemingly spend their days drinking, hanging and preparing. That is until a girl makes her way into the picture. Aidan is one of the most loyal friends in film. He’ll do anything for his best friend. It’s too bad I can’t say the same about the adolescent antihero, Woodrow.

5. Andy Dufresne and Red (The Shawshank Redemption)

I’ve never personally met a single person who wasn’t moved by the beautiful movie that is The Shawshank Redemption. It’s a stupendous film hardships, hope and the saving grace of friendship. The two friends at the center of this flawless film are none other than Andy Dufresne and Ellis Boyd Redding. Andy and Red are two charming, kind, intelligent and loyal friends. They are also prisoners at Shawshank prison and it’s their friendship that unites them through hell and to eventual freedom.

4. Sam and Frodo (The Lord of the Rings)

The Lord of the Rings isn’t just one of the greatest movies of all time, it’s one of the greatest stories ever told. We are taken on an epic journey and one friendship stands not on;y as the best, but also as the most important for without it middle earth would’ve never been saved. “Frodo wouldn’t have gotten very far without Sam”, those words spoken by Frodo at the end of The Two Towers are honest and true. The friendship between Sam and Frodo is a lasting one that overcomes the fiercest of obstacles. If the two didn’t have each other Middle Earth would’ve never been saved.

3. Freddie Quell and Lancaster Dodd (The Master)

This was actually the friendship that inspired the making of this list. The Master just came out recently and I was blown away. It’s a modern masterpiece that exudes brilliance with every passing second. It tells a poetic and powerful story about obedience and control. At the heart of The Master is the relationship between a leader and a follower. Freddie Quell is a drifter, a confused man looking for purpose after a violent world war. In a word, Quell is lost until he meets one Lancaster Dodd. Dodd is the influential leader of a religious following entitled The Cause. There’s a unspoken battle of power between the two them, but at the same time there’s an underlying love between them. They care about each other, but they’re just following different paths.

2. Narrator and Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

Fight Club is and always will be one of my favorite movies. It’s a dark, nihilistic and extraordinary look at a bored generation. There is just layers and layers of meaning behind the enthralling masterpiece that is Fight Club. The friendship that drives this raw and insane drama is the friendship between the Narrator of the movie and the charismatic Tyler Durden. The Narrator is the white collar worker who exemplifies that bored generation I mentioned, while Tyler Durden is the anarchist and chaos that takes him out the mundane funk he seems to be in. However, there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to the mystery that is Tyler Durden. Tyler Durden is one of the greatest characters in the history of film and it’s a relationship with him that tells one of the greatest stories of all time.

1. Batman and Commissioner Gordon (The Dark Knight Legend)

The friendship between Batman and Jim Gordon represents the greatest friendship in film. The Gotham police Commissioner, James Gordon is Batman greatest friend and ally. Not only are they true friends, but their friendship is solely based on the idea of fighting the good fight against the forces of evil. Batman is an absolute good, he does what he does because it’s the right thing to do. Commissioner Gordon is a good cop, one of the few. He’s a good man, a hero worthy of praise, but he has to do the good things he does under the confines or “shackles” of the law.

“A hero can be anyone, even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat on a young boy’s shoulders to et him know the world hadn’t ended”. The life of the greatest hero in existence can be a lonely one and without the lasting friendship between noble cop, Jim Gordon, Batman would not have been able to overcome the chaos and despair that he overcomes. Batman and Gordon don’t hug, or catch up, they don’t go out for coffee, invite each other over for family dinners, or catch a movie. The friendship between Batman and Commissioner Gordon is based around protecting the innocent and the good people who can’t fight for themselves. It’s the greatest friendship in any story ever told.

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Seven Psychopaths Review

Seven Psychopaths offers an entirely memorable experience involving guns, blood, the written word, a dog and people one can only describe as psychotic. There was never a moment in the film where I wasn’t either laughing or completely engrossed in the story at hand.  With the extraordinary Seven Psychopaths, Martin McDonagh has written and directed a film about a screenwriter named Martin who is attempting to write a movie called Seven Psychopaths.

Martin McDonagh is the writer and director responsible for another fantastic film entitled, In Bruges. It’s been four years since he’s made his last and first movie. In Bruges was a brilliant film that was not only funny, but odd, dark and deep. Seven Psychopaths is his second film and not only is it better than his first film, but I don’t see him being able to top this masterpiece any time soon. Through a story that is both insightful and beautiful, Seven Psychopaths conquers the task of being completely hilarious and endlessly entertaining all while examining and commenting on itself as a film and the medium as a whole.

Seven Psychopaths tells an insane and imaginative tale about a screenwriter’s attempts to finish latest work and the friends helping him accomplish just that as they all have to hide from a crazy mobster, but loving pet owner, who wants the dog back from the screenwriter’s friends who just kidnapped it. The story is simple enough, which makes room for the layers and layers of prominent meaning underneath the surface.

The acting is simply phenomenal. And I mean by every performer. Colin Farrell proves himself as a leading man, while Woody Harrelson is great as the so called “chief villain”. The best performances come out of the secondary and best two characters in Seven Psychopaths. Sam Rockwell performs as brilliantly as ever as Martin’s chaotic best friend. On top of that, the real talent comes out of the restraint, confidence and artistry exemplified in Christopher Walken’s performance of the wise and gentle, Hans.

Whereas Seven Psychopaths is at times derivative, it is a completely unique and enthralling film because there is a point to the few stereotypes. The film is witty and poetic. One scene may be absolutely hysterical, while another is intense and dramatic. Seven Psychopaths is a vast and eloquent movie about stories and the people and experiences that inspire those stories. It’s a masterpiece and one I plan on enjoying over and over and over again.

Grade: A+

Sinister Review

Horror movies are always a good time, whether they’re good or bad. If they’re good, they’re good and if they’re bad, they’re funny. I often catch the occasional horror film because I’m a big fan of the genre. Sinister was a horror film I couldn’t ignore. It had been getting a lot of attention and good reception and it actually looked pretty interesting. I don’t want to say that Sinister was a pleasant surprise because Sinister was anything but pleasant, but it was a good movie and quite the amazing horror movie.

Sinister was no perfect horror film and I don’t think it was trying to be one. It had its flaws, like some corny dialogue that felt out of place during some very dark sequences and the obvious flaw you find in a lot horror films of the choices the characters make. I wasn’t much bothered by slight problems such as these because the film made up for its few problems with a horrific story of macabre and the otherworldly.

The story follows true crime author, Ellison Oswalt (a part Ethan Hawke really juices for all its worth and in all the best ways). Unbeknownst to his family, Oswalt has just moved them into the prior home of the murder victims he’s writing his next book about. After all, he was able to get it for a “steal”. Little does he know that this decision has just plagued his family with something much more terrifying than he could’ve possibly imagined. As if the hanging of four family members wasn’t horrific enough, he slowly begins to realize that there may be a much more sinister conspiracy surrounding these murders.

The film plays well with audience expectations and the idea of things that go bump in the night. The film attempts to make you feel as frightened, uncomfortable and alone as it’s troubled protagonist and most of the time it actually succeeds. Unlike many other horror films there’s a lot to the story and rarely is the film not progressing and offering both entertainment and scares. Also, while the film does offer some jump scares, it doesn’t rely to heavily on them because the film seems much more concerned with its simple and genuinely frightening story. That’s something I can respect a lot in a modern horror film.

Sinister is a twisted and unrelenting film and for good reason, director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) is attempting get under your skin and scare you. There’s not much more frightening than the dead, demons, disturbing murders and a disdain towards human life. Sinister is film that gets it right. It was a well made film and it did what it set out to do in the way it offered the kind of horror story you tell around a campfire to scare your friends and the kind of twisted tale that can stick with you long after.

Grade: B+

Top Ten Alfred Pennyworth Quotes

Just recently, I made a list of Top Ten Batman Quotes and before that I made lists of Top Ten Bane Quotes and Top Ten Joker Quotes, I’ll probably make similar lists of characters from The Dark Knight Legend, but for now I decided to make a list of my favorite Alfred Pennyworth quotes. It was one of my easier lists to make. As with every character in the greatest story in existence, Pennyworth’s lines are meaningful, eloquent and completely riveting. As I began to appreciate his dialogue, I realized it wasn’t a difficult task to realize which quotes were more important to both me and the story. Alfred was the man responsible for the raising, care and love of Bruce Wayne, the man who would become Batman. The gentle and wise butler whose always been there as a friend and father-figure to the greatest hero in existence is quite the magnificent character.

10. “You have inspired good, but you spat in the faces of Gotham’s worse criminals. Didn’t you think there might be some casualties? Things were always going to get worse before they got better.”

9. “Rachel believed in what you stood for, what we stand for. Gotham needs you.”

8. “I’m so sorry. I failed you. You trusted me and I failed you.”

7. He’s not being a hero. He’s being something more.”

6. I’ve sewn you up, I’ve set your bones, but I won’t bury you. I’ve buried enough members of the Wayne family.”

5. “Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

4. “It means your hatred. And it also means losing someone that I have cared for since I first heard his cries echo through this house. But it might also mean saving your life and that is more important.”

3. “Endure, Mr. Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of the Batman. He can be the outcast, he can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”

2. “We burned the forest down.”

1. “I never wanted you to come back to Gotham. I always knew there was nothing for you here, except pain and tragedy. And I wanted something more for you than that. I still do.”

 

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Top Ten Batman Quotes

The Joker, Bane and Batman are not just my favorite characters (Top Ten Dark Knight Legend Characters) in my favorite film, The Dark Knight Legend (or Trilogy if that tastes better going down). They’re also my favorite characters in all of movies (Top Ten Movie Characters). I’ve already made lists dedicated to my favorite quotes from The Joker and Bane (Top Ten Joker Quotes, Top Ten Bane Quotes) so I thought, why not? Due to a collaboration between two of the greatest artists working in film, Nolan and Bale, this icon has been established as one of the greatest characters in history. Batman is an inspirational and legendary hero who, through trials and tribulations, has become a defiant symbol for hope and all that is good. These are his best quotes…

10. “Bats frighten me. It’s time my enemies share my dread.”

9. “Perhaps the knife was too slow.”

8. “Tell me where the trigger is, then you have my permission to die.”

7. “You’ll hunt me. You’ll condemn me. Set the dogs on me. Because that’s what needs to happen. Because sometimes truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.”

6. “People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man I’m flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed, but as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting.”

5. “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

4. “I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be.”

3. “Not everything. Not yet.”

2. “I won’t kill you, but I don’t I have to save you.”

1. “A hero can be anyone, even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat on a young boy’s shoulders to let him know the world hadn’t ended.”

 

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Top Ten Movie Characters

It’s no wonder I’m making this list, how could I not? Movie characters are my bread and butter. I love movies and without the the heart and soul of a movie’s characters, a movie would be nothing. This is my list and homage made for the greatest characters in film. It was one of the hardest I’v ever felt the need to make. Awhile ago I made a Top 50 regarding this theme, but things have changed and I wanted to make a new and definitive “Top Ten Movie Characters” list. Before I get into it, here are the four lists I made prior that helped in the creation of this list…

And here we go…

10. Kikuchiyo (Seven Samurai)

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When I say Kikuchiyo I mean Kikuchiyo as he is my favorite of the seven samurai who, for nothing, band together to protect a helpless village of farmers from ruthless bandits. However, I think if any one of these seven brave and powerful warriors is mentioned you have to at least mention the rest and all their heroism. Each samurai is unique in their own way, but there’s a special oddity that is the seventh samurai. He’s a confident and savage warrior and like any other samurai he’s wandered and seen the world. Unlike many samurai he doesn’t wearily look at the world with tired eyes, he looks at the world and laughs because what else can you do?

9. Django (Django Unchained)

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In most westerns you’ll find mysterious or violent antiheroes, but in Quentin Tarantino spaghetti southern you’ll find one of the greatest heroes in film. Django is a freed slave who sets out with his new found friend, Dr. King Schultz, to rescue his love from an evil plantation owner. As his journey progresses, Django establishes himself as a mighty warrior, a mythical avenger against the savagery of slavery in this fairy tale of a western. Django is just the epitome of cool, a badass who you want to stand up and cheer for.

8. William Munny (Unforgiven)

William Munny is an old western legend. He’s a vicious and feared killer, but he “ain’t like that no more.” He’s a good man and a loyal husband and father. His days of blood and gun fights took place long ago, but a life so grisly is hard to escape. In a world ruled by lawlessness and violence how else is a once dead-eyed killer to react to the brutality of it all. There’s no room for good men in the desolate west.”We all have it com in’ kid.” Can a cold-hearted killer be a good man?

7. Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood)

“I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people.” There Will Be Blood examines the idea of the American nightmare and it does so through a character study of Daniel Plainview. Daniel Plainview is driven by greed, consumption and hatred. He’s a despicable basterd who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. What he wants more than anything is to be alone. It can never be denied that there are bad people in the world. There Will Be Blood tells a poetic and powerful story of one such man.

6. Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

Tyler Durden is a symbol for anarachy. He’s in a constant battle with conformity and all that is normal. It has been cited that Heath Ledger’s Joker is chaos, but The Joker is evil through and through. Tyler Durden isn’t good or evil, he is the personification of chaos. He was born out of a bored generation, but he won’t be white collar slave.  There’s a Tyler Durden in all of us who every once and a while has an understandable need to fight against the grain. Anyone who tries to ignore that fact or impulse could just as easily go insane.

5. Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men)

No Country for Old Men is poetic magnum opus of morality and violence created by some of the greatest filmmakers to have ever graced the screen with art, the Coen Brothers. The villain of this blood-soaked tale could be looked at as death incarnate. Anton Chigurh is a heartless killer. He would sooner murder a person than hug them. He’s calm, he’s collected, he’s efficient, he’s disciplined, he’s intuitive, he’s soulless and he can’t be stopped. This theme of unrelenting malevolence is at the heart the Coen Brothers’ masterpiece.

4. Col. Hans Landa (Inglourious Basterds)

Col. Hans Landa, otherwise known as The Jew Hunter, is something far worse than a high ranking officer of the Third Reich. He’s crafty detective who is as wise as he is evil. He does the things he does for his own gain. He’s not a nazi officer because he believes Adolf Hitler’s poisonous lies. He’s efficient at hunting Jews because for the time being it’s in his best interest. Once the situation changes, the slimy basterd will do what he has to in order to insure his own survival even if that means the betrayal of his country. There’s a certain charm and eloquence to him, but at the same time he just oozes wickedness.

3. Bane (The Dark Knight Rises)

Bane is the most formidable opponent imaginable. He is the personification of despair to Batman’s hope in The Dark Knight Rises. The animosity that grows between these men is just breathtaking. “Let’s not stand on ceremony here, Mr. Wayne.” Bane understands their relationship before even the detective, Batman, does. They belong in the battlefield, not sharing pleasantries from across the room. One will triumph over the other and in the end, nothing will matter more to Bane than accomplishing that goal.

In order to feed the people of Gotham hope to “poison their souls”, Bane rebels for the oppressed and against corruption in Gotham. He’s a revolutionary tyrant, he’s his own General and he’s his own greatest soldier. His true agenda is the torture and destruction of Batman and everything he loves. In the end, we find that part of the beauty to Bane, as one of the greatest villains and characters ever created, is in the way that everything this monster of man has done has been for love.

2. Batman (The Dark Knight Legend)

The icon that is Batman is the greatest hero ever created in story and the realistic adaption of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Legend (or Trilogy if that tastes better going down) makes for one of the greatest characters of all time. In what is the greatest story ever told we watch as three tales unfold charting the growth of the greatest hero to have ever existed. Batman Begins is the perfect hero’s journey as we see exactly how a man became the hero, Batman. In The Dark Knight Batman must become the pure good to The Joker’s pure evil In The Dark Knight Rises, we see the solidification of a legend as a weathered Bruce Wayne must dawn the cape and cowl once again to triumph over utter despair. Batman is the greatest hero ever crafted in a story.

1. The Joker (The Dark Knight)

Movies would be nothing without villains. It could be argued more so that movies would be nothing without conflict, but villains are just conflict personified. I placed four movie villains on this list and they all made it into the top 5. I couldn’t help myself. Villains make for some of the best characters and the best villain and character in film can be found in The Dark Knight. The villain in The Dark Knight and the antithesis to Batman is The Joker.

The Joker is colorful while Batman is black, The Joker wears make up while Batman wears a mask, The Joker is killer while Batman is a savior,  The Joker is a villain while Batman is a hero, but most importantly The Joker is symbol for evil while Batman is a symbol for good. You’ll not find a character as purely evil as The Joker. Whereas Batman is good for the sake of being good, The Joker is evil for the sake of being evil.

The Joker is completely lacking in motives, plans and empathy. He’s just one of those rare men who “want to watch the world burn.” He is a twisted and sadistic force for malevolence who would literally die laughing for all that is evil. Due to a flawless utilization of the character by director Christopher Nolan and the greatest performance of all time (portrayed to perfection by the late-great Heath Ledger), The Dark Knight’s Joker is a legendary character that won’t soon be forgot. The Joker isn’t just the greatest character in movies, The Joker is the greatest character stories have ever had to offer.